The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
At seven, Jude witnessed the murder of her parents by her sister’s father. After that terrible night, she and her sisters are whisked away by the murderer to live in Faerie. Now, ten years later, Jude is trying to live among the Fae, while constantly being reminded of her mortal human status. While playing an elaborate game which may cause civil war in the Courts of Faerie if not played properly.
The High King has ruled for centuries, but many Fae feel like it is finally time for him to step down and choose which of his six offspring will rule Faerie. Prince Cardan, the youngest son of the High King, is wicked, charming, smart, cruel, and he loves tormenting Jude.
Jude has always struggled with being in faerie. She wants so much more for herself than what is expected from a human living there, which is either servitude or being married off to a faerie that fancies humans. Her sister, Vivi, longs to go back home in the mortal world and her twin, Taryn, wants to find love within Faerie. Jude is different from her sisters, she wants to earn knighthood with the realm that she lives in. Though knighthood is not likely for a human.
As a human in Faerie, Jude and her twin are looked down on by the Fae. Often the Fae are incredibly cruel to Jude and her twin, which has made Jude tough and morally corrupt. She is a very hard character that is often scared, but unwilling to back down from adversity. This is kind of refreshing for a character in the Young Adult genre, she reminds me of Katniss Everdeen from Hunger Games.
Holly Black returns to the world of faeries with The Cruel Prince and it is as magical as ever. She spins unique and imaginative descriptions of characters and settings that brings the fantasy world to life. This story, though it does have elements of one, is not a romance. Jude is a hard character living in a cruel world and it shows throughout this book.
~Reviewed by Ms. Abby, Teen Services Librarian